TECHE Project, Franklin to unveil information kiosks
The TECHE Project and the City of Franklin will unveil the information kiosk for Parc Sur La Teche and the Bayou Teche National Water and Paddle Trail at a special 10 a.m. public ceremony on Wednesday, April 10 at Parc Sur La Teche.
Information kiosks will be placed at each of the 16 trailheads along Bayou Teche, the Lower Atchafalaya River and the Atchafalaya River from Port Barre to Berwick. These kiosks will orient water and land trail users to the Bayou Teche and the Lower Atchafalaya River and present the special stories of the 16 trail communities.
The TECHE Project celebrated its 10-year anniversary of being the all-volunteer, non-profit organization representing the many assets of the Bayou Teche and the Lower Atchafalaya River. In 2015, The TECHE Project received the exceptional designation of “National Water Trail” from the U.S. Secretary of the Interior. This recognition is one of 21 such designations in the United States and the only one in Louisiana.
The City of Franklin is allocating special funding provided through the Cajun Coast Visitors and Convention Bureau for this addition to bayou waterfront. “Sponsoring the design, fabrication and installation of the Parc Sur La Teche Information Kiosk is yet another way we work to continually make Franklin a great place to visit and live,” Franklin Mayor Eugene Foulcard said. The City of Franklin along with all water users will maintain the floating dock and the kiosk.
Installing the floating docks with federal and state funding and the information kiosks with local sponsorships in the 16 bayou and river towns is a major part of the TECHE Project’s “TECHE Renaissance” initiative comprised of programs to increase the recreational use of the waterways and to enrich the boater’s enjoyment.
“Because it is one of the initial information kiosks to be installed on the 135-mile paddle trail,” Conni Castille, Executive Director of The TECHE Project said. “It serves as a model for other water trail towns of what is coming to their community very soon.”
The information kiosk measures 4-feet wide by 5½-feet tall and holds two panels: an orientation panel and a community panel. The orientation panel depicts a waterway-long map, safety tips and an inset map of each trail town. The community panel presents stories about the locality, the waterway, wildlife and native plants and helpful advice for exploring Bayou Teche and Lower Atchafalaya corridor.
“For many towns along the Teche and Lower Atchafalaya, these information kiosks serve as a primary ‘storytellers’,” David Dahlquist, kiosk designer and TECHE Project Council member said. “Our primary design objective is to provide information which is easily accessible, useful, and encourages to learn and do more in each town and all along the waterways.”
The TECHE Project plans to adapt the content of the information kiosks to a digital version in multi-languages, especially French to honor our Creole and Cajun heritage. Where appropriate, the Chitimacha language will also be included.